Thursday, 21 December 2006

Understanding Statistics

I've been reading a few IDC press releases today. The most interesting (if any ever are) was that relating to Q3 2006 revenue figures for the top vendors. It goes like this:

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide External Disk Storage Systems Factory Revenue 3Q2006 (millions)

EMC: $927 (21.4%)
HP: $760 (17.6%)
IBM: $591 (13.7%)
Dell: $347 (8.0%)
Hitachi: $340 (7.9%)

So EMC comes out on top, followed by the other usual suspects. EMC gained market share from all other vendors including "The Others" (makes me think of Lost - who are those "others"?). However, IDC also quote the following:

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Total Disk Storage Systems Factory Revenue 3Q2006 (millions)

HP: $1406 (22.7%)
IBM: $1250 (20.2%)
EMC: $927 (15.0%)
Dell: $507 (8.2%)
Hitachi: $348 (5.6%)

So what does this mean? IDC defines a Disk Storage System as at least 3 disk drives and the associated cables etc, to connect them to a server. This could mean 3 disks with a RAID controller in a server. Clearly EMC don't ship anything other than external disks as their figures are the same in each list. HP make only 50% of their disk revenue from external systems, the rest presumably are disks shipped with servers, IBM even less as a percentage, Dell about $160m. The intruiging one was Hitachi - what Disk Storage Systems to they sell (other than external) which made $8m of revenue? The source of my data can be found here:

What does this tell me? It says there's a hell of a lot of DAS/JBOD stuff still being shipped out there - about 30% of total revenue.

Now, if EMC were to buy Dell or the other way around, between them they could (just) pip HP to the post. Are EMC and Dell merging? I don't know, but I don't mind starting a rumour...

Oh, another intesting IDC article I found referred to how big storage virtualisation is about to come. I've been saying the word "virtualisation" for about 12 months in meetings just to get people to even listen to the concept, even when the meeting has nothing to do with the subject. I'm starting to feel vindicated.

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